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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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STALIN'S   POLAND
Goes it against the main of Poland, Sir3
Or for some frontier ?
(William Shakespeare, Hamlet},
Poland has shed her blood in that same cause of Right and Freedom for
which we, in England, are fighting, and now, in the hour of her misfortune,
we watch with admiration the indomitable will of her sons, wherever they
may be, to fight on till the enemy has been defeated. Though their country
be trampled underfoot by the oppressor, the Polish people, who have struggled
so long and so honourably for their national existence and independence, will,
in the end, achieve their hearts' desire.
(Winston S. Churchill's letter to General Sikorski after his visit in 1940
to the Polish Forces in Scotland)
On February 22, 1944, the British Government, which until now had
held the opinion that " all questions of territorial settlement should stand
over until the end of the war/' changed its viewpoint. This meant that
the British Government which had pledged itself under Article 3 of the
Treaty concluded with Poland on August 25, 1939, to support her, not
only against armed aggression, but also against any attempt by a European
Power " to undermine Polish independence by processes of economic
penetration or any other way," announced of its own accord an agreement
to the Soviet's plan in connection with Poland.
Referring to Polish-Soviet relations and the international situation in
his review of the war, in the House of Commons on February 22,
Churchill had said :
" I took occasion to raise personally with Marshal Stalin the question of
the future of Poland. I pointed out that it was in fulfilment of our guarantee
to Poland that Great Britain declared war upon Nazi Germany and that we
had never weakened in our resolve even in the period when we were all alone,
and that the fate of the Polish nation holds a prime place in the thoughts and
policies of His Majesty's Government and of the British Parliament. It
was with great pleasure that I heard from Marshal Stalin that he, too, was
resolved upon the creation and maintenance of a strong, integral, independent
Poland as one of the leading Powers in Europe. He has several times
repeated these declarations in public and I am convinced that they represent
the settled policy of the Soviet Union.
" Here I may remind the House that we ourselves have never in the past
guaranteed, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, any particular frontier
line to Poland. We did not approve of the Polish occupation of Wilno in
1920. The British view in 1919 stands expressed in the so-called * Curzon
Line * which attempted to deal, at any rate, partially, with the problem.
I have always held the opinion that all questions of territorial settlement
and readjustment should stand over until the end of the war and that the
victorious Powers should then arrive at formal and final agreements
governing the articulation of Europe as a whole.
" That is still the view of His Majesty's Government. However, the
advance of the Russian Armies into Polish regions in which the Polish
underground is active, makes it indispensable that some kind of friendly
working agreement should be arrived at to govern the war-time conditions
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